Photo: Courtesy of Vladdeep
On March 3, 2021, over 200 Eastern Caribbean citizens graduated from a training program on Photovoltaic Installation and System Inspection, the largest training event in renewable energy in the Caribbean Region to date (pressroom.oecs.org).
Luis Maia; head of cooperation for the EU Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM; underscores the importance of technical training in renewable energy solutions for the Caribbean:
The citizens of the region need to be technically equipped to implement these renewable energy systems efficiently and effectively. This is why this Photovoltaic Training and Certification Program is so important. We need a generation of capable and daring professionals and entrepreneurs who will design, implement, and monitor renewable energy projects. (pressroom.oecs.org)
A photovoltaic system is made up of one or more solar panels combined with an inverter and other electrical and mechanical hardware that use energy from the sun to generate electricity (energyeducation.ca).
Program participants came from the following OECS Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and Grenadines. Public and private sectors were present. Also represented were young new entrants into the field of solar technology as well as established practitioners in need of certification (pressroom.oecs.org). Participants were selected from applications submitted by various national energy ministries who met the eligibility criteria (pressroom.oecs.org).
The PV installation program covered several topics, including the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation, operation, and maintenance of Photovoltaic (PV) systems. Electrical inspectors received advanced training on the safety and operations of PV systems for approval. In addition to the course examinations, trainees were offered the opportunity to take the examinations for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification (pressroom.oecs.org). The program will ultimately support training, certification, and standards necessary for the growth of the solar sector in the OECS (pressroom.org).